Does Communion Really Need to be Sanitized?

Throughout the centuries, there have been many different trains of thought concerning communion services.  Some churches serve wine, for those offended by the insinuation that the drink served at the Last Supper was not simply unfermented grape juice.  Other churches serve grape juice, for those offended by the alcohol content in wine.  Of course, some churches, such as the Catholic Church, believe in transubstantiation (that the bread and wine become the literal body and blood of Christ), while other churches do not.

However, churches today attempt to accommodate the needs of each individual believer by taking many precautions, and providing multiple options, for administering their communion services.  Here are a few examples:

– Some churches serve crackers or wheat bread.  Other churches serve gluten-free bread, for those on a gluten-free diet.  Still other churches provide each member with a choice of wheat bread or gluten-free bread.

– Some churches have the church members drink from the same cup, but provide an option for dipping the bread in the cup, in order to minimize the spreading of germs among the congregation.  Still others provide a separate cup for each believer.

– Some churches offer hand sanitizer to keep from spreading germs among the congregation.

We are to approach the communion table with humility, and a pure heart, in true temporal fellowship with the Holy Spirit (through the confession of sins).  If we do so, do we really need to worry about the mechanics and logistics of the methods used to administer the communion service?  Would God allow a spirit-filled believer to suffer adverse effects from the gluten in the bread?  Would He allow the passing of the H1N1 virus throughout the congregation?  Even if He would, does that change the way that we are to approach His table?

This wide range of man-made options and precautions takes the focus off of the body and blood of Christ, and places it upon the wants and needs of each individual (and relatively unimportant) believer.  If we’re worried about allergic reactions from the bread or contracting the flu from our fellow believers, then we’re probably not in an appropriate state of spirituality to even be partaking of the communion service.

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One Response to Does Communion Really Need to be Sanitized?

  1. Allen says:

    I agree, I am Catholic and for me one of the most sacred things that we can do is to recieve the body and blood of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. The last thing on my mind when I am going to recieve communion would be about rather or not it was safe. But in fact it would be just the opposite or about the healing powers associated with it. Prayer recited before recieving Holy Communion “Lord I am not worthy to recieve you but just say the word and I shall be healed.”

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